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Back our team, Dortmund boss tells anxious fans

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 23 Aug 2008

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Tens of thousands of Bayern Munich fans will be accompanying their team on Saturday to Borussia Dortmund, whose coach Jurgen Klopp urged home supporters to get behind their players.

“The biggest problem is anxiety by the home fans, Bayern are regarded as favourites, so we need every man woman and child to take account of this and back the team,” he said on the club's website.

Klopp urged the crowd to encourage Dortmund's youngsters, such as 20-year-old midfielder Florian Kringe, likely to make his debut on Saturday.

Although they settled for a mere 2-2 draw last weekend against Hamburg, the Bundesliga champions are full of confidence amid manager Jurgen Klinsmann's much-vaunted new training methods.

Some commentators remain to be convinced about the value of these which include a new multi-million euro performance centre and appointment of new specialist staff.

Lucio, Bayern's Brazilian defender sounded positive. “It's helping to bring the team even closer together,” he said. “We have every opportunity to sit together over a coffee or have some fun. We're more like a family. In the past we just used to train, shower and go home.”

Bayern's Italian striker Luca Toni will be back from injury and while Franck Ribery will not play, the Frenchman is making a steady recovery from the serious ankle ligament tear which ended his Euro 2008 performance.

“He should be able to begin a little light jogging at the weekend,” Klinsmann explained.

Werder Bremen receive northern rivals Schalke who they view with suspicion after the latter climbed to the number two spot in the league following their 3-0 win over Hanover a week ago.

Central defender Per Mertesacker should return to the side after injury, the club says.

Meanwhile head coach Thomas Schaaf has welcomed back striker Claudio Pizarro, scorer of 29 goals for Bremen when he was there between 1999 and 2001. The 29-year-old Peruvian is on loan from Chelsea.

Marcelo Bordon, Schalke's Brazilian defender, is buoyed by his side's recent 1-0 Champions League win over Barcelona and was looking forward to the Bremen game.

“In the past we have often made a good impression against Bremen, in six previous games we beat them four times and drew twice,” he said on the club's website.”

Elsewhere in Saturday's programme, Hamburg SV welcome Karlsruhe, Arminia Bielefeld travel to Hertha Berlin, VfB Stuttgart are at home to Bayer Leverkusen and league leaders Hoffenheim receive Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The two matches on Sunday are Cologne against Frankfurst and VfL Bochum versus VfL Wolfsburg.

German fixtures

Friday: Hanover v Cottbus, Saturday: Werder Bremen v Schalke 04, Hoffenheim v Borussia Moenchengladbach, Hamburg SV v Karlsruhe, VfB Stuttgart v Bayer Leverkusen, Hertha Berlin v Arminia Bielefeld, Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich, Sunday: VfL Bochum v VfL Wolfsburg, Cologne v Eintracht Frankfurt

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